Attributing Patient Growth to Your Online Marketing
Successful healthcare marketing strategies meet patients at each stage of their journey and speak to their specific questions and needs. Designing an online strategy around patient experience isn’t enough unless it’s generating leads that turn into patient growth for your organization. Developing a strategy that generates leads you can track and evaluate, is crucial to measuring the success of your online marketing efforts.
Use your website as a resource.
Your website alone is an incredibly valuable resource for your patients and prospective patients as it provides a wealth of important information that they need to build a relationship with your brand, including:
- Your phone number for patients and prospective patients to call with questions or to request an appointment.
- Your location details for them to find your address and directions on how to get there.
- Your hours. When can your patients contact you to schedule an appointment? If an appointment is not necessary, when can they walk-in and expect to be seen?
- A contact form. If the patient prefers to initiate communication via form, can they do so?
- Downloadable patient forms. If a prospective patient is interested in seeing a provider at your clinic, can they download the necessary forms to complete at their convenience.
- Your practice providers. Is the provider they have been recommended or have been referred to see, part of your practice?
- The services you provide. Do you offer treatment for the prospective patient’s medical condition?
Ensuring this information is not only available but is it kept current, is necessary. Ask yourself these two questions: 1) Are patients able to easily get in touch with you? 2) Is the information presented on your website, accurate and useful for patients? If you can’t confidently answer those two questions, evaluate your website’s patient experience with these additional questions in mind.
- Is the phone number displayed on your website and in the search results, correct? Or, is the call forwarding number going to connect patients with someone at your clinic?
- Is the clinic’s physical address and hours of operation accurate? If there is a map displayed, does it direct users to the right location?
- When a form is submitted, is the most appropriate person receiving it? Is the inquiry being responded to?
- Is the required new patient forms up to date and available to download from your website?
- Are the services specified on your website all available at your clinic? Are there any new services that should be mentioned?
- Are the providers included on your website still associated with your practice? Are there any new providers that may not be listed?
Verifying that these key details are available and are maintained on your website is a vital step in obtaining leads that turn into patients. But how do you know if leads are converting to patients? And how do you know which marketing technique the conversion should be attributed to?
Track your website leads.
It’s important to set up tracking on your website so that you can measure conversions and quantify leads. We recommend using Google Analytics which you can use for free to gain insight on your website. Once tracking is properly installed, you can determine the desirable actions you want patients to take. For healthcare clients, the most common interactions are form submissions, phone calls and new patient form downloads.
By setting up Goals in Google Analytics, organizations can track when a submit button is clicked on a form, when a phone number link is selected and when a white paper is downloaded. Once a user completes one of these defined interactions, a conversion will be recorded in your data.
When a web user enters your site, Google Analytics can tell us if they entered from a paid ad, search engine, specific URL or from a referral source like social media. Analytics also provides the ability to identify what search phrase lead a user to your site, what time they submitted the form, what city they were in and what device they were using. A little invasive, right? BUT this allows us to know how to attribute users and is incredibly beneficial for the organization’s marketing strategy.
Use data to match leads to patients.
For many healthcare organizations, the patient journey begins once they receive a contact form or phone call that turns into an appointment. But when a tracking solution is set up for website forms and calls, you’re able to determine what steps led that new patient to make an appointment.
If a new patient scheduled an appointment by filling out a form, how did they get to your website? Did they click on an ad from a search campaign that you’re running? If so, what words or phrases did they type in that triggered your ad to show? Which ad did they click on and what was unique about the ad copy? Being able to look back at these details gives you the ability to evaluate your marketing and advertising campaigns and determine successful tactics that you can capitalize on.
Through Google Analytics, you can also see how your website aided in leading a user to fill out a form. For example, you can see which pages they visited allowing you to determine what content might have influenced their decision to contact you for an appointment.
Call tracking solutions are ideal for web users who prefer to initiate contact by phone and for marketers who wish to track things like phone numbers, call duration and where the call came from. Utilizing a third-party call tracking tool allows organizations to assign a unique forwarding number to specific marketing channels so that you can attribute the phone call lead to the form of advertising that facilitated the contact. Additionally, healthcare organizations can compare call tracking reports with the phone numbers of patients they acquired in a given period and attribute the phone call leads accordingly.
Establishing a means to track and evaluate calls and forms allows you to close the gap between leads and appointments, lean into the strengths of your online strategy and abandon strategies that aren’t giving you the return on your investment.
Want assistance with your website’s tracking and access to reports that can help you match online conversions to patients? Full Media works with a variety of clients but have found that we excel when working with healthcare clients. We pride ourselves on providing quality digital marketing services to help healthcare clients succeed.